Gas station patrons born around my time or later have probably never encountered a legitimate gas pump globe in action. But for years, these beauties adorned the top of vintage gas station pumps across the country. Each one was designed to advertise something, usually a brand of gas or an oil company, but sometimes automakers as well. They were everywhere from the early days of 20th century motoring, but began to disappear by the 1960s, as high-quality lighting and large signage was easier to obtain. What I have here is a gallery of some of the most attractive gas pump globe designs I've come across. I can't vouch for which ones of these are authentic or just reproductions, but the point here is to appreciate just how much style and thought went into something most motorists took for...
In browsing through the Kodachrome prints on one of my favorite auction sites recently, I came upon these four gorgeous shots taken in New York City between 1949 and 1952. They feature four different storefronts and some of the sweetest Art Deco signage you will see this week. Click on any photo for the full-size version, and enjoy! Just look at those signs. Something about Art Deco makes even an otherwise drab storefront look slightly glamorous, doesn't it? The Golds and pharmacy stores must have looked fantastic on a dark New York City evening.
I have no reason for sharing this photo, other than the fact that it's so random and so odd that it must be seen. It comes to us via the Australian War Memorial's collection, and shows a rather unique scene from the Australian home front. This odd photo was shot on February 29, 1944 by the Herald Newspaper in Melbourne, Victoria. Here is the description, which makes no note of the priceless expression on the face of the woman walking by the car: A papier-mache cow, used for milking demonstrations at the Werribee experimental farm, being tied on to the luggage carrier of Mrs. Mellor's car for transport to the farm. Mrs. Mellor is a Field Officer in charge of the Women's Land Army Mont Park training depot.
I came across this photo of the Who that I haven't seen a ton in the past. I'm not a superfan so I'm not certain when this was shot, but I'm guessing it was 1965 or '66. I'd love to know what those kids were thinking watching them pretend to play. At least they could've given Roger Daltrey a microphone.
Has it already been a year since my last gallery of vintage Mother's Day ads ran? Where does the time go? Well, I'm back with another 10 classic advertisements to commemorate that most special lady in our lives -- mom. Of course, the usual suspects are here -- flowers and chocolates -- but I think this year's gallery manages to mix things up a bit. I think this is the first time I've seen a Mother's Day champagne ad after all.
The original Star Trek TV series ended in 1969, but its enduring popularity was evident not long after. Fan demand for new adventures led to the 1973-74 animated series, and it's from that period that this neat Star Trek toy comes from. It's an Inter-Space Communicator, released in 1974 by a British company called Lone Star. Hell, I'd like just the packaging, featuring a surprisingly decent illustration of Kirk and Spock. In case it wasn't immediately obvious, the communicators here worked with a string attached between them. To the future! Operating instructions and closeup shots are here. For more auction finds, click here.
Here's a dashing action figure likeness of Sean Connery as James Bond from the 1965 film Thunderball. The movie was released in 1965 so I'm assuming the action figure -- produced by Gilbert -- was as well. Dig that sweet SCUBA outfit, complete with fins, snorkel, and super-snug bathing trunks! The Thunderball line turned out to be almost the last hurrah for Gilbert (known officially as the A.C. Gilbert Company), which closed for good in 1967 after almost 60 years in business. Gilbert, incidentally, introduced the world-famous Erector Set in 1913. For more auction finds, click here.
I've been collecting wire photo images from the internet for several months, and I've been struggling with just how to best share my favorites with all of you out there. I thought about creating a new section in the Ephemera section of this site, and I may still do that, but not now. I also thought about putting them on my Flickr feed, and I'll still do that for some -- but that's more of a personal storehouse than anything else. What I've settled on for now is a brand new, single-topic Tumblr feed. It's called And Through the Wire, and yes that's a reference to the Peter Gabriel song. It's a separate endeavor from my regular Tumblr feed, which is more of a free-for-all thing. This feed will be wire photos and only wire photos, and it'll cover just about any subject area you can thi...
For this batch of vintage postcards, I wanted to go for some mid-century Christmas kitsch rather than the really old stuff. Because that's how I roll, as loyal readers must know by now. (via Flickr user califboy101) (via The Pie Shops) (via Calsidyrose) (via Neato Coolville)